Boys and Their B.L.A.D.E.S. (Part 4--Explore via Research & Development)
Posted on 25 June 2015
Darren and I were asked to give a talk on shaving at the recent Alabama Soap & Candle Meeting. Our presentation was entitled, "Boys and Their B.L.A.D.E.S.: Gaining a Cutting Edge in the Wet Shaving Community" and this series of blog posts shares some of the highlights from our session. Today's post is Part 4---Explore (Research and Development). (Also check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)
Having given a general overview of wetshaving (including the lingo, gear, stats, and soap types), we spent this next section of the presentation providing suggestions for where soapmakers could go online to explore and dig a little deeper on their own. Darren strongly emphasized the need for each individual to conduct his/her own R&D. (We really hope they took this to heart and understood the importance of putting in their own time/effort/resources, and not just copying what someone else is already doing.)
Darren suggested 4 different venues for them to explore:
- Shaving Forums (Badger & Blade; The Shave Nook; The Shave Den; etc.)
- YouTube Shaving Videos (such as Sharpologist's channel mantic59 and Nick Shaves' at Chi City Time Lapse)
- Facebook Groups (groups for wet shavers, soap makers, and shaving soap makers)
- Retail Sites (Maggard Razors, West Coast Shaving, Italian Barber, etc.)
Since our presentation was aimed at potential shaving soap makers, we put a great importance on really knowing your target audience. It's pointless (and greedy) to try to create and sell a product just to make a few bucks. Traditional wet shaving is a huge, growing market but if you're trying to get your foot in the door just to capitalize on the opportunity or "ride the wave", our suggestion is to find someplace else to invest your time and resources.
An additional source of information that we didn't touch on during the presentation was blogs. There are a number of wet shavers who have active blogs, with an abundance of helpful information (from instructional to informative to persuasive). There's no one "right way" to shave or "perfect product", so reading about the experiences and preferences of others can really help you gain a broader overview of traditional shaving.
One resource we did suggest at the end of our presentation (for those who were ready to get serious in their studies about wet shaving) was a free ebook offered by Sharpologist: "30 Days to a More Enjoyable Shave". You can get this ebook by signing up for his newsletter at sharpologist.com/enjoy. Seriously....the table of contents alone is impressive, but the information contained within its 40+ pages will really set you on the right track.
What resource(s) do you recommend to new wet shavers? Has there been any particular website, video, book, or person that helped you when you began shaving?